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Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" was adopted.Although the United Kingdom, as a sovereign state, is a country, England, Scotland, Wales and, to a lesser degree, Northern Ireland, are also regarded as countries, though they are not sovereign states.The Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD, and the 400-year rule of southern Britain, was followed by an invasion by Germanic Anglo-Saxon settlers, reducing the Brythonic area mainly to what was to become Wales, Cornwall and the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde.In 1066, the Normans and their Breton allies invaded England from northern France and after its conquest, seized large parts of Wales, conquered much of Ireland and were invited to settle in Scotland, bringing to each country feudalism on the Northern French model and Norman-French culture.With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world.It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.5 million inhabitants in 2016.The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.Prior to the creation of the UK, Wales had been conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of England.
Following the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland maintained its independence, albeit in near-constant conflict with England.
The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom.
The term has no definite legal connotation, but is used in law to refer to United Kingdom citizenship and matters to do with nationality.
This meant that the United Kingdom created in 1707 by the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland encompassed all of Great Britain.
The Kingdom of Ireland merged with this state in 1801 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.